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Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many workers in Northern Ireland now earn less than the Council of Europe's decency threshold.

The New Earnings Survey indicates that in April 1984 about 37·5 per cent of full-time adult employees in Northern Ireland had gross weekly earnings for a full week of less than £108·3, the latter figure corresponding to 68 per cent. of the national average for all full-time adult employees. Although an advisory committee of the Council of Europe has suggested the figure of 68 per cent. of national full-time adult average earnings as significant in considering low pay, the figure has not been accepted or recognised by the United Kingdom or any other European country.